Caregiving Support Across the Lifecycle
By Amanda Touati, MBA
AVP of Health & Benefits Innovation Group
By Sander VanderWerf
As the modern workforce changes, employers are evaluating the support they offer across the continuum of family caregiving. In fact, 88% of employers expect caregiving to become an increasingly important issue for their business in the next five years.1 Employer interest is caused by an awareness that 47% of adults have a parent at least 65 years old and are supporting a young child;2 furthermore, more than 43 million adults have provided unpaid care to an adult or child within the last 12 months.3
The expanding caregiver benefit need is associated with the large Millennial population and its clear desire for programs that support its evolving life needs: parental leave, elder care support, etc. Employee caregivers are defined as individuals who provide support to a loved one, whether they’re welcoming a new child, caring for a disabled family member, or supporting an aging parent.
Employers are pressed by market demand, as well as regulations, to reassess how they support the employee caregiver. The news media devote significant attention to how employers support the working parent — from paid leave policies that allow for time with children to benefits that support the transition back to work after a pregnancy or adoption. In addition, it has been reported that employees utilize social media to make their voices heard, demanding caregiver-related benefits that will allow them to maintain a work-life balance. This trend is now moving beyond high-tech employers to all industries as a growing grass-roots movement in the United States.
The innovative employer is expanding beyond supportive maternity/child solutions to the greater caregiving spectrum of benefits to address a variety of employee needs. Every employer needs to evaluate the benefits it provides across the caregiving continuum. The dynamic nature of the workforce, along with ever-expanding regulated paid family leave laws, requires the employer to learn quickly.
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